Hanoi to censure teachers for ignoring cheating at national exam

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A Hanoi education official visits Quang Trung High School during the graduation exam on June 3. Photo courtesy of Tuoi Tre

Inspectors in Hanoi have proposed that some exam supervisors be censured for leaving so that students could use cheat sheets at the recent national high school exam.

Loose supervision was observed at Quang Trung High School in Ha Dong District during the foreign language and Math sessions on June 4, the final day of the three-day graduation exam, education inspectors said earlier this week.

A video, which was submitted to the Ministry of Education and Training the same night, shows the supervisors leave the room and turn their back to the students while the latter copied answers from cheat sheets, some also dictating the answers to others.

Teachers and officials supervising the exam at Quang Trung were not from the same schools as the students who took the test.

Hanoi education inspectors suggested that the leaders of the site's supervision board be rebuked.

Vice minister Nguyen Vinh Hien said the supervisors demonstrated a poor sense of responsibility.

He supported the censure, saying they it would be sufficient punishment.

A source from the ministry said the video was filmed from a resident home near the school.

Without the video, the exam site would be assessed as "well-organized with tight control," which the inspection team from the Hanoi education department and the education ministry had concluded on the morning of June 3.

Information on the violating supervisors or the video's authors were not available yet, and it is still unclear if the ministry will release the video to the public.

The video has not been released to the press or published on the Internet, although the education ministry lifted its ban on the publication of exam cheating evidence in March after receiving criticism from many people including teachers and lawyers that whistleblowers would be discouraged if they were not allowed to expose their evidence to anyone except the exam's managing committee.

Exposing exam cheats has been a hot topic in Vietnam since last year's high school graduation exam, when two teachers organized to film the widespread cheating at a private school outside Hanoi.

The 12 videos showed some teachers directly assisting in the cheating at Doi Ngo high school in Bac Giang Province by taking exam questions out of the rooms, answering them, making different copies of the answers and delivering them to the students.

Two school principals who were primarily in charge of supervising the site were later removed from their positions, and six teachers caught in the video were sacked.

But the whistleblowers, including one from the school, said they were disappointed with the punishments, calling them "tokens." They said the school's leaders should have been sacked instead of the teachers who had merely followed orders.

The two students who filmed the cheating with camera pens were rebuked for violating exam regulations instead of receiving praise.

Public outcry prompted the education ministry to adjust its regulations to allow students to bring video recording devices into exam rooms to catch cheaters.

In 2010, Transparency International's Global Corruption Barometer for Vietnam found that education was perceived as the country's second most corrupt sector.

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